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Allister Sparks hailed as a 'phenomenal journalist'

Sparks died last month at the Morningside clinic due following an infection.

FILE: Veteran journalist Allister Sparks. Picture: Who’s Who.

JOHANNESBURG - Veteran journalist Allister Sparks has been fondly remembered as one of a kind.

Sparks died last month at the Morningside clinic following to an infection.

A memorial service is being held at the Institute for the Advancement of Journalism, an organisation he founded in 1992.

Current and former board members have joined his family and friends in paying their last respects.

Executive director Faiza Abrahams says today's memorial service is a celebration of the life of Sparks.

His close friends, family and colleagues gathered there have spoken highly of him, describing him as a "phenomenal journalist".

Friend and former SABC radio CEO Govan Reddy says Sparks stood apart.

"Even as a business analyst, I think the Financial Times rated him as number one in the country for a number of years. As a contemporary historian his books were outstanding and as a foreign correspondent, I was in exile most of the time and used to read his pieces in the Financial Post, The Observer and the Washington Post."

A public memorial service will be held for the veteran journalist at Lilliesleaf Farm on Friday.